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In Words: Joey Vera



- Joey Vera - May 2002 - Claudia Ehrhardt -


www.joeyvera.com








Joey Vera - live with Armored Saint 2000
Claudia Ehrhardt


Joey Vera - May, 25th 2002 - -Offenbach (Germany)




At the moment Seven Witches are on tour with Annihilator and Debase. A surprise was that bassist Joey Vera is with them, coz he's busy with several bands he's involved in. So I took the chance to talk with Joey Vera about all his projects.


You're now on the road with Seven Witches and to promote their new album. Actually, you just produced on the album. So people wouldn't expect that you're on tour with them. How come?

Yeah... Actually I had mixed the record. Jack produced it. These came about as their bass player Billy quit the band about a month or two before the tour. And since I've been working with Jack, you know. We became friends during the Savatage tour and than I worked with him on the record of course, we've become better friends. And he just phoned me up and said: "I just lost my bass player... And so I would love, if you'll come up to do it..." So...

Most of the people that hear your name think about Armored Saint, because of the latest album and about Fates Warning....

Yeah...

And there is also Engine. It's been awhile since you've been on tour Armored Saint. So what happened with them? Is there still something going on or is there one album and tour and I think people would like to know, if they can expect something new...

We still have plans for another record, but the thing is we have to find time to do it at this point, because John is back with Anthrax and their just finishing their record as we speak right now. So we expect the record to come out in fall, maybe if they're lucky and of course they'll wanna be touring and so he's gonna be busy with Anthrax for a while. In the meantime I've began writing some new stuff with Armored Saint. So we just writing, but on a slower basis kind of, you know? So, if we get the chance to do a record... The plan is to maybe do a record in January, but I don't know if we gonna be ready right than...

And if John had is done with Anthrax...

Because the thing is, after such a long time when you turned out with the album and than after this tour there will be a lot of people who would love to come out and see the band again. We saw a lot of people who were coming to several shows and I think there still a lot of fans of Armored Saint and they're waiting for something new.

But because of what you're doing with the other bands, which is different to Armored Saint. That's the other point. How is working on an idea? Does it turn out which band it fits for? Is it just to have to concentrate at one theme or the other? Or is it so-so?

I think, it is not that difficult for me at least, you know. How can I write for this particular band and you just have a certain frame in that you work in. You know... So, it is pretty obvious, the differences between Armored Saint, Fates Warning, Engine, Seven Witches... They all very different, so if I would sit down and try to write something for any of those bands, it wouldn't be that much difficult for me to say "Okay, this is a probably fitting to... That I'm working in..."

And sometimes you just have an idea and develop it and see how would it fit to...

Sometimes yeah! Actually I wrote some things for Engine. They didn't make it to the Engine record, but ended up (I turned it a little) at the - not to the old school - Armored Saint record. It's one of the newer tracks. So that was a kind of a mix... It's started originally for Engine, but then I added some things which are more power metal than new school, so it ended up a little bit more suiting for Armored Saint.

So when you playing live, what's the difference? What do you enjoying more? Like playing something with Fates Warning which is more complex stuff or Armored Saint...

It depends...

On the mood..?!

Yeah... I just like playing. I like to be able to play lots of different styles as well.

That's why you play so many different stuff?

Yeah... I enjoy playing, doesn't matter what it is... Of Course there is a place in my heart for Armored Saint. Because it is my first band and we've been together for ten years and these guys are my friends since the 3rd grade. I know them for a very long time.
So of course playing with them is a certain magic. I haven't that experience with all the other groups, but it doesn't mean I don't enjoy that as well...


But on the moment you're focused on Engine, because of the released of that album...

Well, yes. At the moment we'll trying to get something going on, because the record is just coming out. When I get home from this tour we playing West Coast... California, Las Vegas, Phoenix, for about two weeks... Only a couple of shows with Engine, maybe six and than this Cargo warm-up thing and than we gonna public in L.A. of course. At these point we don't know, if we should try to get on a tour in summer. So these are a couple things and possibilities that maybe come up in late July, August... So we'll see...

So, it depends also on the record sales, if you come over to Europe than...

Probably... I think Europe is a kinda harder for us, because we're not that kind of traditional metal which are normally at Metal Blade. So it's hard for us to find a tour with another band that is similar. That has a little bit more modern sounding than... So it is hard for us to hook up with another band. It's an idea we should be opening for someone which is bigger like Seven Witches and Annihilator...

So we have to wait and see...

I think that it will happen once around November, December...

I think, there are a lot of people who liked what they saw when you played Wacken...

Yeah! I think we did pretty well... And I think...

It's a different, if you do that with Armored Saint or with Engine. Beside the size of stage, I know... *laughter* Would you be interested with both bands to play the festival?

Yeah... It is cool. But I hope, if it happened it is on different days. Otherwise it would be a little harder.

I know, a friend of us - Mike Terrana - played with 3 bands at 2 days. But he is drummer, that's even harder then for a bass player.

Yeah... That's right...

But this time we have someone on the schedule from Finland. He is keyboarder. He'll is playing with 4 bands at two 2 at Wacken. We're wondering what will happen the next time. Maybe one more...
At the moment you're doing Engine. But a lot of people are wondering what happened with Fates Warning? What's going on there? Is there still something going on or is it still taking a break?

Well... They're kind of doing a break. But Jim Matheos is doing a solo project with Mike Portnoy. So, I don't know what's going one there. I think they might be recording right now. And so I'm on hold for that. It's gonna waiting around... Maybe then to get Engine things going on and at the same time, if I find time, I will write new songs for Armored Saint and Seven Witches. Maybe more touring later this year, so that's another possibility as well.

So you're pretty busy!?

Yeah...

Beside that you doing some producing stuff and mixing...

Yeah... Engineering and producing at home and I'd like to make another solo record, if I find the time to do it. Just yet I hadn't the time to do it.

It's better to be busy than to stay at home and waiting for something to come...

Yeah! I mean, if I had a day off, I would work in my studio at home and write music... So... But I haven't had any time!

So what can we expect from a solo album from Joey Vera than, because after so different things you doing with so different bands I think,... "It could be interesting." (Claudia and Joey at the same time) *laughter*

Probably would be mixed up again. I don't know. Do you know the first one I put out in '94? It's may be too many different things. This time I would make it a little more focused on one style.

Is there any band you would you like to engineer or produce in the future? Some thing what you like to recommend?

I don't know anybody. I don't have any exact bands who I would like to work with the bands... Maybe a local which has some potential... With their own stuff...

So you give them a chance to make it probably with your help...

At least I only want to make a good record...

Yeah, but if you make a good record and some namedropping sometimes helps... Something like Joey Vera produced it... It helps to get attention when it first gets on the desk from whichever A&R.

Sure!

I don't know how many bands are around and would like to do something and you are doing 4 bands.

I know...

What's your plan for the future? Maybe one day you probably won't go on tour anymore. So will you than concentrate on studio work? Will you go that way?

I think so...

I think, you connected to this business also thru your wife as well. As far as I heard, she is in the music business. So you hold still have connection, on the other hand...

Yes...

So she is probably in the lucky position that she understands...

Oh yeah! She's very understanding about all that things. That's very helpful. Coz she is in the business. She sees how it goes, how hard it is to earn your money, to be a musician...

So you're fortunate...

I'm very fortunate! Yeah, very, very much!

So, we have to wait and see what comes next?

We'll see what gonna happens...

But something is always going on, so...

Looking forward to see you both again!


Now you've got a small round-up about the business life of Joey Vera and I think it won't take long until we hear from him again. Perhaps with Engine or Seven Witches... Maybe with Fates Warning, but sooner or later he'll be back with Armored Saint! Anyway, it's always nice to see him on stage.



Claudia Ehrhardt

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